Sandro Di Michele, Head of PR at Sky Betting & Gaming, writes for Digital City about the Leeds-based company’s World Cup plans.
As an online betting and gaming company based in the heart of the renowned sporting county of Yorkshire, this year’s World Cup is the major event in our calendar and one that will see the largest ever number of bets placed on any single football game.
Not only that, data scientists, data engineers, statisticians and test engineers will be using some of the most advanced high speed, high impact techniques to lower the barriers to data exploration, usability and presentation of one of the UK’s largest data sets in order to model the millions of possible outcomes of football matches.
Our data team works with an enormous 455 TiB (Tebibits) of data in their ‘Maximus cluster’ which is roughly around one quarter of the identifiable storage capacity of the human brain. Around 500 GB of this are ingested every single day.
Teams also look at what statistics we have available to use and what metrics are the most predictive to set around 500,000 odds for the 64 matches over 30 days during the crucial lead up to the competition and in play as the action takes place.
We have 41 customer models now live producing over 80 million data points per week, helping provide our customers with a more personalised experience and ensuring they can easily find the most relevant content.
One of the things customers value most is the ability to get money in and out of their accounts quickly and easily.
We processed over £2bn in deposits in FY17 and offer customers the opportunity to instantly cash out their winnings – a payment innovation developed in the heart of Leeds.
Since separating from Sky, we have quadrupled our annual technology spend, allowing us to lead the industry in terms of product innovation, to provide a stable and fast platform that our customers love, while investing in new capabilities to futureproof our business.
Our customer base has nearly doubled in the last three years, which together with growth in the range of markets means our load factors have tripled.
Peak bets per second reached over 350 during the Grand National. Log-ins on a typical Saturday afternoon reach around 500 per second as customers check in to see the match results and whether their accumulator has landed.
Unique individual bets during the World Cup, which this year is set to be a truly spectacular international football showcase, will be anywhere between 200,000 per game for ties such as Japan vs Senegal, to a staggering 500,000 for a non-England World Cup final.
We could hit over 600,000 per fixture if the Three Lions make it all the way to the final.
We can also price up over 100,000 original Request A Bets during the tournament and for a single England game there can be half a million customers betting, giving our tech teams some spikes in load to deal with if a goal goes in or something happens during the game.
In the run-up to the competition, our engineers, project managers, developers, agile delivery leads and analysts will be working to ensure the extensive technology estate we own and operate is optimised to deliver seamless customer experiences designed to enhance the excitement and enjoyment of sport.
Over 1,400 people based at our offices in Leeds and Sheffield will be applying their product development, marketing, customer service and trading expertise to make this the biggest and best World Cup ever.
From our #GoGlobal chat bot @SkyBetGoGlobal that takes people on a journey of discovery for a World Cup team to our links with Ancestry to reveal the DNA origins of some of our most well-loved football legends, sticker swap events, football players giving talks in the office, dress your area competitions and retro shirt days, the World Cup is big news for Sky Betting & Gaming and big news for Leeds.